FLAGSTAFF—Navajo Nation President Kelsey A. Begaye honored Northern Arizona University President Clara M. Lovett in a recognition ceremony held April 18 at the Navajo Nation presidential office in Window Rock.
Begaye expressed great appreciation for Lovett’s help in bringing The Treaty of 1868 to NAU. The treaty, signed between the Navajo Nation and the United States, was exhibited at Cline Library at NAU.
“Being able to go and see it was a very moving experience for many Navajo people. It served as a reminder of how this historical document could still be so strong and powerful,” Begaye said.
At the recognition ceremony, Begaye and Vice President Taylor McKenzie presented Lovett with a Navajo blanket with her name woven onto it. She also received a painting depicting images of Navajo culture.
Begaye said, “It is an honor and a privilege to present this blanket and picture to Clara M. Lovett. In her seven years as president of Northern Arizona University, she has been instrumental in expanding educational opportunities for Native American students.
“In addition to establishing Native American Student Services and the Institute for Native Americans at NAU, she created a 12-member advisory board to work with the president and the university with regards to Native American issues.”
McKenzie said, “Long-distance education has been expanded to eight Indian Reservations, opening opportunities for non-traditional students to earn college degrees.
“She has made regular visits to Reservation lands to meet with tribal leaders and listen to their concerns. We are going to miss working with her. We wish her great success in any future endeavors.”
Accepting the gifts, Lovett said, “I want to thank President Begaye and Vice President McKenzie for the beautiful and thoughtful gifts. It has been a privilege for me to work with members of the Navajo Nation, and I hope to be able to work with you in the future.”